Commentary

Insider Bid For 'Morning Brew' Shows Power Of Email Inbox

News coverage of digital media tends to focus on the latest ways to reach audiences, such as addressable TV and the growing number of ad-supported streaming services. Yet publishers have a powerful way of connecting with consumers through one of the most enduring, if less exciting, digital channels: email.
I was reminded of the power of email after reading The Wall Street Journal's story this week about Insider Inc.'s bid for a majority interest in the news startup Morning Brew. The agreement would value the company at $75 million, which isn't bad for a 5-year-old digital media company built on email newsletters about business and finance.
As Publishers Daily reported, Morning Brew is a publisher that's actually growing revenue and adding staff. That's a welcome development amid much of the recent coverage of the publishing industry, including news about job and salary cuts, furloughs and shutdowns.
In addition to its flagship Morning Brew newsletter that read likes a millennial hipster's take on markets, the economy and the biggest business headlines of the day, the publisher has branched out into verticals covering technology, retail and advertising. It has 3 million subscribers to its email newsletters, which is 50% more than when we last reported on the company in June.
By providing pithy commentary that's easy to read quickly on a mobile device, Morning Brew is finding an audience of people who want a news digest to stay informed, while providing links for readers who want more in-depth coverage. Its editorial voice helps to stand out amid the crowded market of news aggregators.
But most of all, the company's growth shows how advertisers like the idea of reaching audiences through their email inbox. A steady group of advertisers, including Allbirds, Criteo, Dropbox, Fidelity Investments, Oracle, Sailthru and Slack, has sponsored its newsletters in the past few months, a sign that marketers see value in Morning Brew's platform.

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